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Water/Waste Processing e-News / Infrastructure / Reuse / Water & Wastewater

GE provides zero liquid discharge technology to Texas power plants

January 30, 2013
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Two Texas power plants will be able to recycle more than 98 percent of wastewater and eliminate wastewater discharge to drought-ridden areas thanks to new technology from General Electric (GE), it has been announced.

GE's zero liquid discharge (ZLD) wastewater treatment technology will be installed at the new Sherman Power Plant in Grayson County, situated on the Texas-Oklahoma border, and at the Temple Power Plant in Bell County, located between Waco and Austin. Both 758-megawatt facilities are fueled by natural gas and employ a combined cycle, GE said in a statement. The two plants are owned by Panda Power Funds and San Francisco-based construction and engineering company Bechtel will be in charge of the engineering, procurement and construction.

Over the past few years, Texas has recorded very low precipitation levels and drought has become a serious issue. This is the main reason why the ZLD technology is suitable for the two power plants, as it will enable them to reduce their need for incoming water by recycling and reusing nearly all of their own cooling tower wastewater. Temple Power Plant will use treated water from a wastewater treatment plant located in its vicinity, while the Sherman Power Plant will use Lake Texoma as its cooling water source.

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Although the technology provided for both facilities is quite similar, it is different in a number of aspects. The Sherman Power Plant will be provided with a brine concentrator and crystallizer, while the Temple Power Plant will only get a brine concentrator. The ZLD systems have the capacity to treat 450 gallons per minute for each power plant.

Once completed, the Temple Power Plant will be able to meet the electricity demand for approximately 750,000 homes in Central Texas, whereas the Sherman Power Plant will supply electricity to about the same number of households in the North Texas area. Both plants are predicted to start operation by the end of 2014.

GE said that the brine concentrator and the ZLD crystallizer technology were specifically chosen for the two plants because of their reliability and high-quality performance. GE proved to be trustworthy partner, as it managed to meet all requirements of the two power plants in a tight schedule, while at the same time it provided products of the highest standards, the company stated in its press release.

Yuvbir Singh, general manager, engineered systems -- water and process technologies for GE Power & Water said that water and energy are not only among the world's most valuable resources but they depend on one another. Energy is required to produce water and water is needed to produce energy. GE's ZLD technology allows the two to complement each other in an efficient way that reduces the consumption of both types of resources, Singh explained.

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